Managing Partner of FLOODGATE, Mike is considered a rare breed when it comes to venture capitalist investors. He has no problem taking on non-consensus startups and is known for making early stage investments in companies such as Twitter, Chegg, Digg and many more, at a time when other VCs passed.
Once named by Fortune Magazine as one of “8 Rising VC Stars,” Mike’s strategy is to focus on breakthrough business models created by prudent entrepreneurs. His success speaks for itself, and we have come to count on him as a trusted advisor with incredible knowledge and solid guidance.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mike for a quick Q&A session to share some of his personal insights on Reverb and how he views our long-term opportunity.
As a venture capitalist, you interact with a lot of startup companies and their respective founding teams. What do you think makes Reverb unique?
In Wordnik, Reverb has developed a massive technology infrastructure that is truly inspirational for a startup company. I consider the development of this technology to be one of the most successful efforts in the industry.
When you take into account the sheer magnitude of Wordnik’s vision – capturing all the English words in the world and making the comprehensive meaning of each individual one available to every person on the Internet – it was an aspirational undertaking and one that is paying off now. With its infrastructure, Reverb has many options moving forward.
Industry experts are predicting that content discovery will be a hot category in 2013. Do you agree?
I agree that for consumers today, it is a very hard problem to find the most contextually relevant information through search alone and the problem is only going to get worse as the Internet continues to grow.
We are going to have to change the way content is exposed and explored. Even now, there is a desperate need for content experiences that surface more personalized information. I think this demand will lead to an emerging new trend in how people think about their content and how they want to engage with it.
This problem isn’t easy to solve, though. It involves very complex categories of technology we have only just started to tackle.
What opportunity do you see for Reverb given this trend?
So far we’ve only scratched the surface on the potential for content discovery and engagement. In the future, how we explore and share content will happen through some very compelling and highly beneficial applications – both mobile and web-based.
Reverb’s technology is advanced in the sense that it accurately understands the meaning of ideas in larger pieces of content and it can find how pieces of content relate to each other. It is also proven to scale at a very large capacity and with very stable performance. Wordnik was just the first application to showcase the power of Reverb’s technology.
What Wordnik accomplished for the online dictionary category, Reverb is well positioned to repeat in the content discovery and engagement space.